Objective: Lower limb movement velocity is a good predictor of mobility in older adults. The movement velocities of the trunk and upper limbs are also good determinants of mobility. However, the reason for this is not clear, possibly because the basic characteristics of the movement velocities are still unclear. To investigate these characteristics, we evaluated the associations between the movement velocities of all three body regions and between these velocities and mobility measurements.
Methods: One hundred twelve community-dwelling older adults (mean age 74.1 years) participated in this study. We measured the movement velocities (lower limbs, upper limbs and trunk), muscle strength (knee extensor, trunk extensor and plantar flexor), mobility measures (gait speed and timed up and go test (TUG)), and gait parameters (step length and cadence).
Results: All movement velocities were moderately correlated with each other (r=-0.42 to 0.61). All movement velocities were also significantly associated with mobility to the same degree as muscle strength (gait speed r=-0.42 to 0.51, TUG r=-0.37 to 0.57). A stepwise regression analysis revealed that the movement velocities of the upper and lower limbs were significant predictors of gait speed, while that of the trunk was an independent predictor of TUG. Movement velocities were associated with step length more than with cadence.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that movement velocities can be treated as individual values and considered good indicators of mobility in older adults, regardless of body region.